Single parenthood in 1900

Linda Gordon, Sara McLanahan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The Public Use Sample of the 1900 census was used to examine single parenthood in the U.S. population overall, in seven major cities, and in four predominately rural states. The data allow us to identify single parent subfamilies, a group missed by reports based on published census statistics. The proportion of children living with single parents in 1900 approximated that of 1960:8.5 percent as compared with 9.1 percent. Migration and immigration were not associated with single parenthood. Black children were more likely than white children to live with single parents, especially black children in urban areas. Approximately seventy-five percent of black and white single parents were widows.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)97-116
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Family History
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1991

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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